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  Table of Contents 
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 3-20

ICOH Abstracts

Date of Web Publication21-Jan-2020

Correspondence Address:
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-2284.276226

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How to cite this article:
. ICOH Abstracts. Indian J Occup Environ Med 2020;24, Suppl S1:3-20

How to cite this URL:
. ICOH Abstracts. Indian J Occup Environ Med [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Jul 26];24, Suppl S1:3-20. Available from:

  Abstract 1: Farmers, Suicide Literacy and Suicide Stigma – The Ripple Effect Top

Susan Brumby1, Alison Kennedy1, Vince Versace2

1National Centre for Farmer Health, Australia2Deakin Rural Health, Australia


Background: Globally many farming populations have been identified as having higher rates of suicide, in comparison to those living in metropolitan, rural and regional communities. The reasons for this are unclear although occupational risk and stigma are considered risk factors. This Australian study sought to understand the role of suicide literacy and suicide stigma in farming and rural populations and the relationship between these.

Methods: A mixed-methods online intervention was developed. This presentation reports on baseline quantitative data of suicide literacy, stigma and suicide effect collected from male and female rural Australian participants (N = 536) with an experience of suicide (attempted, considered, bereaved by, cared for, or any other experience).

Results: Our cohort demonstrated higher levels of stigma and significantly higher levels of suicide literacy when compared with previous Australian community samples. Males were also more likely to have considered suicide than females. Females were more likely than males to report a devastating and ongoing effect of suicide bereavement/s.

Conclusion: This study reiterates the clear need for much improved understanding of the risk factors for suicide and the experience of suicide that occurs within the life and work in farming communities. Importantly it identifies that increased literacy (intended to decrease risk) does not necessarily correspond with decreased rates or experience of suicide. How can we apply and adapt 'best practice' in farmer suicide prevention to reduce stigma and improve prevention efforts.

  Abstract 2: Farmer's Health – Working Conditions and Behaviours Top

Sara Arphorn1, Kotchakorn Santiwung2, Watchareeporn Panpoompruk3

1Department of Occupational Health and Safety, Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University, Thailand2Nan Provincial Agricultural Extension, Nan Province, Thailand3Syngenta Crop Protection Limited Company, Bangkok, Thailand


The farmer network with an environmental care project has established in Nan province, northern Thailand. The Public-Private Partnership, PPP, model was introduced. The funding by a company was provided, and it was declared that there was no conflict of interest in participation. The first-year plan focused on nine districts, while the main product is maize. One hundred and thirty farmers participated in this project. One-day participatory training with the chemical spray practicing was employed. The project covered the co-follow-up activities by local officers, academic persons, and farmers. The improvement plan was challenged to adjust farmer's working conditions and working behaviours. They would like most to give the occupational health knowledge to other farmers and to improve chemical and tools storage facilities. Interestingly, the chemical hazard communication was found to be a new topic for them, therefore, farmers gained much more in the understanding of chemical labelling in this training. Job safety analysis made them realized the hazard in many steps of work, where the agricultural process safety was described to improve their productivity and to cut the cost. The environmental issue was mentioned, which is related to the chemical container management and the chemical mixing protocol. The pre and post-test were employed among farmers. It was found that seventy-five percent of farmers showed a higher score in the post-test. The most important outcome from this first-year plan was the sustainable development for the good health and well-being of farmers in terms of human resource development.

  Abstract 3: Assessment of DNA Damage in the Agricultural Workers Exposed to Mixture of Pesticides in Barpeta, Assam (India) Top

Ranjit Hazarika

Genotoxicology Laboratory, MC College, Barpeta, Assam, India


Introduction: In agricultural field pesticides are used to protect the crops. But they pose a potential hazard to the farmer and environment. The aim of the present study is to investigate the relation between the occupational exposure of different kinds of pesticides and DNA damage of individual directly spraying the pesticides in the agricultural field. In Barpeta district of Assam a huge amount of pesticide is sprayed in the agricultural field and farmers are affected by the pesticides.

Materials and Methods: Blood samples of 70 exposed workers (after daylong spraying) and 70 control subjects belonging to Kolgochia Area of Barpeta district were evaluated using comet assay.

Result: Significant differences were found in DNA damage between exposed and controls workers. The two groups had similar mean ages and smoking habits. Mean comet tail length were used to measure the DNA damage. Length of duration of pesticide exposure on the workers had significantly large tail length. (62.75 ± 21.97, 63.48 ± 20.15, P = 0.05). There was significant increase of the comet parameters viz mean comet length and frequency of cells showing migration in exposed workers as compared to control (20.73 ± 20.23 vs. 63.48 ± 20.15, P = 0.054641) and 31,07 ± 23.81 vs. 62.75 ± 21 .97 P = 0.043). Confounding factors during pesticides exposure such as age, smoking, drinking and dietary habit were expected to modulate the DNA damage

Conclusion: The evidence of genetic hazard related to exposure resulting from the exposure of pesticides is the matter of concern which need for educational programs for agriculture to reduce the use of chemicals.

  Abstract 4: Assembling an Interprofessional Core Curriculum for Occupational Health Practitioners Top

Angela Butkovic

University of Witwatersrand, South Africa


Objective: Interprofessional Education (IPE) has been recommended by WHO (2010) to enhance collaborative practice which in turn improves access, quality and appropriate use of specialist clinical resources in universal health for all, affecting both developing and developed countries (Maree and van Wyk, 2016; Van de Laan and van Dijk, 2018).

Introduction: Positive sporadic evidence in IPE has evolved from many undergraduate health professional programmes worldwide in the 21st century that culminated in the WHO's Framework for Action on IPE and Collaborative Practice (WHO, 2010). However, IPE amongst postgraduate health programmes and in particular occupational health programmes lags. Considering that 2020 is WHO's Year of the Nurse, and the South African Nursing Council requirements for all the Advance Nurse Specialist qualification, such as Occupational Health Nursing, has aligned the qualification to a minimum of a Master's Degree (NQF level 8) with core competencies in advanced skills as applied by various disciplines in occupational health and/or safety. Applying a core IPE curriculum in Occupational Health postgraduate programmes has become more apt now than ever before.

Method: Scoping Review of IPE impact and challenges in developing countries vs developed countries since 2010 using the key words below via PubMed; CINHAL and EBSCO.

Discussion: Reflection of IPE from a developing countries' perspective. Reflection on the benefits and challenges in a paradigm shift from the traditional education silos of the occupational health medical practitioner, nursing practitioner, hygienist and safety professional to a resource efficient IPE core curriculum for the postgraduate. Innovative solutions in delivery IPE for the postgraduate such as blended learning.

Conclusion: Although developing an IPE curriculum is not easy, this presentation hopes to inspire the collaborative-ready champions (policy makers, educators, and expert clinicians) to lead in the development of a core IPE macro-curriculum for Occupational Health and/or Safety.

  Abstract 5: Occupational Sharps Injuries and Post-Injury Follow-Up Practices among Healthcare Workers in Brunei Darussalam Top

Kyaw Naing Win1, Nur Asma Omar2, Nik A Tuah2, Alice SC Lai1, Ashish A Trivedi1

1Occupational Health Division, Ministry of Health, Brunei Darussalam,2PAPRSB Institute of Health Science, University of Brunei Darussalam, Brunei


Introduction and Objectives: It is estimated that 40% of HBV and HCV infections and 2-3% of HIV infection are attributed to occupational sharps injuries among healthcare workers (HCWs). The objectives of this study were to calculate the rate of sharps injury, determine its occurrence by age, gender, occupation, work location, working hours, mode of injury, duration of employment, and occupational health and safety (OHS) awareness; as well as the trend of follow-up reviews.

Materials and Methods: A retrospective study aimed to determine the incidence of sharps injuries in healthcare workers from 2014 to 2018, and analyse the compliance of post-injury management review.

Results: It showed that 79.7% were female with mean age of 33, (SD 10.1) years; 53% were among nurses; 77% occurred in a hospital setting; 54% occurred during shift work; 51% occurred whilst performing clinical procedures; 30% worked for less than 5 years; and 76% were aware of occupational health and safety hazards. Post-injury follow-up showed continuous improvement from 48.7% (2014) to 64.5% (2017).

Conclusions: The study findings highlight the high-risk groups of healthcare workers, work areas and work activities. The findings will contribute towards the development of improved healthcare policies, awareness on reporting, effective interventional programmes to minimise the risk of sharps injury and enhance post sharps injury management practices.

  Abstract 6: Genomic Damage among Anatomy Laboratory Workers Exposed to Formaldehyde, Ismailia, Egypt Top

Amani Waheed, Samar E. M. Gaafar, Rasha F. Abdella, Eman A. Mohamed

Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, Egypt


Aim of this work is at minimize the risk of genetic damage in workers occupationally exposed to formaldehyde in the anatomy laboratories.

Objectives: To measure the occupational exposure level of formaldehyde. - To assess the degree of DNA damage in peripheral lymphocytes of formaldehyde exposed workers in anatomy laboratory and control group using comet assay. To determine the prevalence of glutathione S-transferases genes polymorphism using PCR among participated groups. To investigate the association between the degree of DNA damage and the presence of glutathione S-transferases genes polymorphism among workers exposed to formaldehyde.

Methods: This cross-sectional was conducted on 25 doctors and workers exposed to FA in the anatomy laboratories at Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Suez Canal University. Control group was recruited from non-exposed doctors and employees working in the same faculties but without occupational exposure history to formaldehyde. All subjects were subjected to a questionnaire and blood samples were collected and analysed by alkaline comet assay to determine DNA damage.

Results: Individuals exposed to FA showed significantly increased levels of DNA damage in the Comet assay in terms of tail length and olive tail moment in peripheral blood lymphocytes compared to controls. Furthermore, significant difference was observed between smoker and non-smoker exposed personnel in relation to mean OTM. Also, significant increase in OTM with duration of exposure was observed in the exposed subjects. Workers not using protective measures had statistically significant higher DNA damage than those using protective measures. However, no significant difference was seen due to age and gender.

Conclusion: This study points to the risk of DNA damage in anatomy laboratory workers who are exposed to FA. These results address the need for regular biomonitoring of exposed personnel.

  Abstract 7: Occupational Health Services for Healthcare Workers in Malaysia – Reform to Prepare for Future Threats Top

Abdul Aziz Harith1, Sirajuddin Hashim1, Nor Asiah Mohamad2

1Institute for Public Health, Malaysia,2National Institute of Health, Malaysia


Background: Occupational health services (OHS) promote centred care management for healthcare workers to optimise their functional capacity and well-being. In Malaysia, almost two thirds of healthcare workers are working with the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH), while the balances are with the private. MOH has officially started OHS in 2003. Changes in healthcare service priorities, led to OHS being neglected and almost collapsed. However, the transformation of healthcare services in 2015 brought the much-needed reformation and direction.

Objective: This paper reveals the importance of clinic centred occupational health services in managing health surveillance, medical surveillance, prevention of work-related diseases, early intervention, occupational and workplace risk assessment, risk management and management of occupational diseases in the organization.

Methods: Evaluation of processes in occupational health (OH) programmes were conducted to identify strengths and weaknesses in effecting OH programmes. Clinic centred OHS was found to be the solution in delivering OH programmes efficiently. OHS Development Plan is execute for periods 2016-2020 which requires capacity building in infrastructure, human resources, services and special equipment.

Results: In 2016, 11 out of 14 states deliver the OHS development plan except for Kedah, Pulau Pinang and Sabah. 30 Clinics Centred OHS were accessible in MOH facilities, mainly in primary care. 30 medical officers were trained in Occupational Health Doctor (OHD) certified course. Occupational health nurses and medical assistants were identified for credentialing and privileging (C&P) the occupational health programme. Workers health management were managed systematically by the trained OHD.

Discussion and Conclusion: OHS is very important in managing occupational and safety issue in huge organization. Continuous information on risk assessments, health surveillance and occupational diseases allows the trained OHD to easily investigate, intervene, treat and manage the workers for the entire organization. Failure to reform the system would have resulted in poor workers health management.

  Abstract 8: Development and Evaluation of a Training for Occupational and Insurance Physicians on Involving Cognitions and Perceptions in the Guidance and the Assessment of Employees Top

Mariska De Wit, Haije Wind, Bedra Horreh, Carel T. J. Hulshof, Angela GEM de Boer

Amsterdam UMC, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam. Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, The Netherlands


Introduction: Cognitions and perceptions of employees with health problems are important factors that can influence their work participation. Occupational physicians (OPs) and insurance physicians (IPs) should take these factors into account when they guide employees back to work or when the assess the functional abilities. This study aimed to develop an evidence-based training for OPs and IPs on obtaining information about and intervening on cognitions and perception in order to increase work participation of employees.

Methods: To develop the training, we used information from four of our previously conducted studies. We selected the important cognitions and perceptions from our systematic review regarding cognitions and perceptions associated with work participation. Information about how to obtain information regarding these factors was acquired from our survey study among 155 OPs and 56 IPs and a focus group study among employees with health problems. Information about how to intervene on cognitions and perceptions came from a scoping review regarding interventions on these factors.

Results: The training will be focused on 10 cognitions and perceptions, such as self-efficacy, motivation and recovery expectations. During the 4-hour training OPs and IPs learn about the effect of these factors on work participation, how to detect whether they are limiting work participation and how to intervene on them. The training will consist of classroom training including individual and group assignments. Effects of the training will be studied with an exercise in which physicians need to detect different cognitions and perceptions in videos of consultations between physicians and employees. In addition, we ask them if and how they would intervene on these factors.

Conclusion: This evidence-based training could help OPs and IPs to involve cognitions and perceptions during their practice to increase work participation of employees. The first results of the effects of this training will be presented.

  Abstract 9: Diseases Caused by Whole Body Vibration of Dumper Operators in Coal Mines of Northern India Top

Vivekanand Kumar

Indian Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, Uttar Pradesh, India


The research objective is to evaluate the Whole-Body Vibration (WBV) exposure of dumper operators in coal mines of Northern India. In this study, Human Vibration Analyser Type 4447-Bruel & Kjaer was used to analyse the whole-body vibration. Personal Interview and Questionnaire was used to know the epidemiology of the dumper operators. The study showed on the basis of RMS acceleration and on VDV values. The health risk guidance zone was used in accordance with International Standard ISO 2631. In case of loaded condition 77% of the dumper operators are in the health risk guidance zone. In case of unloaded condition 77% of the measurements beyond the limit value. Overall 50% of dumper operators are working under dangerous condition as the WBV exposure level is beyond the standard limit value. In conclusion, whole body vibration is causing Musculoskeletal Diseases in dumper operators of coal mines.

  Abstract 10: Safety Culture and Motivation – An Important Aspect at Construction Site Top

Praveen Dubey, Nitin Choughule, Anant Vajarekar

Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, India


Construction is a process of creating and building infrastructure and facility. With the increasing demand of construction activities and the use of advancing age of technology, along with the existing unskilled/ semi-skilled employees, the hazards in construction industries need control in a systematic manner. Identification of workplace hazards and its control requires sensitivity from both Workers and Managers. Knowing about hazards and awareness of work risks, safety culture and safety motivation are few of the important parameters in accident prevention programme and therefore reducing potentially dangerous risks at workplace. Safety culture and motivation may be initiated on both organizational level and individual level. The effectiveness of the accident prevention programme depends on the way the organization inculcate safety motivation among all levels of to attain the organization's safety goals i.e. vision zero incident.

This paper is a step towards identifying requirement of safety culture and motivation and safety management in construction industry based on the experience gained by authors at different construction sites.

  Abstract 11: BNI: An Evidenced-Based Method to Assist Global Collaboration to Identify Worker Safety, Health and Wellbeing Research Priorities Top

Max Lum

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, United States of America


Introduction and Objectives: In 2000, WHO estimated that selected occupational risk factors were responsible for the loss of about 24 million years of healthy life and caused 850,000 deaths worldwide, about 40% of the ILO estimate of 2.2 million total deaths. The current changing nature of work makes it essential to develop an improved, transparent evidence-based method that uses the criteria of 'burden', 'need', and 'impact' (BNI) to identify research priorities and aid in identifying the ROI of public funds.

Materials and Methods: This activity occurred over an extended period and required extensive engagement with stakeholders and external partners and used modified Delphi approaches to illicit input and direction. The Institute studied exhaustive implementation research and performed content analysis of seminal research to identify approaches, barriers, and tools for putting research into practice following established guidelines (Schulte, et. al, 2017).

Results: Overall, the BNI method has resulted in the development of an evidenced-based conceptualization that allows NIOSH to ensure maximal return on investment. The results of the first three cycles of implementation (2016-2018) indicates that research applications have become more focused, clearer more streamlined, and priority sector research has been addressed in a more impactful way. Surveys of NIOSH researches and reviewers show an overall increase with the satisfaction.

Conclusion: The ongoing changes in the nature of global work, the workforce, and the workplace challenge old paradigms of worker safety and health research and require new decision criteria that are more solution oriented than observational and that result in interventions that can be readily applied to new occupational hazards and exposures. This BNI approach, may be useful to other public and governmental research agencies or entities that need a systematic way to set research priorities and allocate increasingly scarce resources for research while ensuring the maximal return on investment.

  Abstract 12: Interventions on Cognitions and Perceptions that Influence Work Participation of Employees with Chronic Health Problems: A Scoping Review Top

Mariska De Wit, Bedra Horreh, Joost G. Daams, Carel T. J. Hulshof, Haije Wind, Angela G. E. M. De Boer

Amsterdam UMC, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam. Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, The Netherlands


Introduction: Cognitions and perceptions can influence work participation of employees with chronic health problems. This makes these cognitions and perceptions important factors for physicians to intervene upon in order to increase work participation. There is however no overview of interventions that influence these factors and are aimed at increasing work participation. Therefore, the purpose of this scoping review is to explore available interventions that are focused on cognitions and perceptions of employees with chronic health problems and aimed at increasing work participation.

Methods: A scoping review was carried out following the framework of Arksey and O'Malley. Ovid MEDLINE and PsycINFO were searched for original papers published between January 2013 and November 2018. We included studies that described interventions that focus on at least one of ten cognitions and perceptions and on work participation. The risk of bias of the studies included was assessed using quality assessment tools from the Joanna Briggs Institute.

Results: In total, 24 studies were identified that studied interventions aimed at changing at least one of ten cognitions and perceptions in order to change work participation. The interventions that were included mainly focused on changing recovery and RTW expectations, self-efficacy, feelings of control, perceived health, fear-avoidance beliefs, perceived work-relatedness of the health problems, coping strategies and catastrophizing. No interventions were found that focused on changing motivation or on optimism/pessimism. Four interventions were judged as effective in changing coping, fear-avoidance beliefs, perceived general health or perceived work-relatedness and work participation according to results of randomized controlled trials.

Conclusions: This review provides an overview of interventions that focused on changing cognitions and perceptions and work participation. Evidence was found for four effective interventions focused on changing these factors and increasing work participation. Physicians may use the overview of interventions to help employees with health problems to increase work participation.

  Abstract 13: Job Satisfaction and Security among Workers Injured at Workplace Top

Seong-Kyu Kang1, Won-Jun Choi1, Wanhyung Lee1, Seunghon Ham1, Ui-Jin Kim2

1Gachon University Gil Medical Centre, Republic of Korea,2Gil Medical Centre, Republic of Korea


Introduction and Objectives: Occupational injury can exert influence on the thought on their job after return to work. Job satisfaction and security affect mental health, early retirement, and job stress of workers. This study investigated the association between occupational injury and job satisfaction and security.

Materials and Methods: Data from 46,103 participants were collected from the fifth the Korean Working Conditions Survey (2017). Job satisfaction and security were measured through the eight questionnaires. Sex-stratified multiple logistic regression analyses were performed with adjusting for potential confounding factors.

Results: Occupational injury was associated with perception of inappropriate reward (OR = 1.485, 95% CI = 1.263-1.746). In male workers, occupational injury was associated with perception of losing job (OR = 0.747, 95% CI = 0.560-0.997). Occupational injury in female workers was significantly associated with bad relationship with their children (OR 1.430, 95% CI 1.027-1.991).

Conclusion: This study supports the negative association between occupational injury and job satisfaction and security. Injured workers have higher risk of early retirement, and the higher job stress after return to work.

  Abstract 14: Occupational Health Services and Holistic Well-Being at Workplace and Integration with WHO Global Healthy Workplace Model – A Comprehensive Profile Top

Shriniket Mishra, Rajat Kumar Saha

Hero MotoCorp Ltd, Occupational Health Services Department, Dharuhera, Haryana, India


Introduction: Presently, many workplaces worldwide are offering Occupational Health & Wellness services to employees though detailed programme, impact and outcome strategy to keep employees healthy and thus increase productivity, profitability and return on investment (ROI).

Objectives: To detail various components of our Occupational Health and Holistic Well-being services, to justify our certification of WHO Global Healthy Workplace model, to review the fostering of innovation and technology for modernisation and to broaden our global vision of sustainability of good health and well-being through evidence-based programming, practice and collaboration.

Methodology: A comprehensive profile study of services was done for our workplace, Hero MotoCorp Ltd- World's leading two-wheeler manufacturer, over a period of 6 months, with review of Occupational Health & Safety policy, Corporate Wellness Program, sustainability report, senior leadership commitment & active worker involvement.

Results: Synergising our global health & wellness strategy into holistic well-being framework at Hero MotoCorp Ltd, all the 4 major components viz. physical work environment, personal health resources, psychosocial work environment & enterprise community involvement are perfectly aligned. Towards continuous improvement, evaluation & outcome, some of the data trends of last 2 years' show prevalence of uncontrolled diabetes drop from 2.92% to 2.48% and hypertension from 7.27% to 4.7%. Mean parameters of some health risk biometrics are BMI 25.7 kg/sq.m, triglyceride 155 mg/dl, systolic blood pressure (SBP) 124 mm Hg, diastolic blood pressure (DBP) 84 mm HG, blood glucose 95 mg/dl.

Conclusion: We are complying to all major criteria for global healthy workplaces including business ethics & legality and replicability apart from leadership commitment & engagement, worker involvement, sustainability & integration & continuous improvement. HATS 2020 is Hero MotoCorp's ambitious targets of sustainability by year 2020 with adoption of United Nations Sustainable Development goals (SDG) 17 model. Awarded #1 Global Healthy workplace 2019 (large employer category).

  Abstract 15: Quality of Occupational Health Care in Finland Top

Timo Leino, Esa-Pekka Takala, Kaisa Harjunpää, Maria Hirvonen, Tiina Kauranen, Krista Liljeström, Susanna Syynimaa, Owe Österbacka

Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland


Introduction and Objectives: In Finland, employers must arrange preventive occupational healthcare (OHC) coverage for their employees. National surveys of the functioning and quality of occupational health services have been conducted every 3-5 years since 1992. The results of the 9th survey will be presented.

Materials and Methods: Data from the OHC units was collected with an electronic questionnaire on the resources, functioning and quality of services. The units were also asked to assess the key preventive service processes by randomly selected 20 documents of client organizations' operating plan for occupational healthcare service, workplace health and safety review reports, maintenance of health and work ability plans made in health check-ups, and work ability assessment meeting and return to work plans. Some 15,500 documents were reviewed.

Results: At the end of year 2018, there were 442 OHC units of which 342 (81%) provided data. Over 6,500 health professionals were employed in OHC units serving some 1.9 million clients. There was an average of 640 clients per physician, 720 per occupational health nurse, 1,670 per physiotherapist and 2,360 per psychologist. Elements of the quality assessment included competence of the personnel, assessment of the key service processes, provision of a quality system with the description of service processes, annual management review and external audit, customer satisfaction, and the percentage of preventive services of the total costs. Of the units 47 (18%) had excellent and 158 units (42%) good prerequisites to offer good quality occupational health care services. Basic prerequisites were fulfilled in 111 units (33%) and 25 units (7%) were below the prerequisites.

Conclusion: Most OHC units in Finland meet the basic requirements for quality service. There is still work to be done to reduce the variation of quality among the units.

  Abstract 16: Working Conditions and Health of Informal Workers of Maintenance and Repair of Vehicles of Bogotá – Synergy between Occupational Health and Primary Health Care Top

Luis Betancourt Sanchez, Jaime Adams

Corporación Universitaria Minuto De Dios, Colombia


Background: Occupational exposure to hazards faced by informal workers are often risky, frequent and long lasting. The health impacts that these hazards entail have not been well studied in this population and their costs are unknown. The poor control of occupational hazards poses enormous challenges for the health care of informal workers and there the PHC has an important field of action.

Objective: Describe the working and health conditions of informal workers in Bogotá who carry out vehicle maintenance and repair activities.

Methodology: A cross-sectional survey and identification of hazards and risk assessment was conducted by the District Secretary of Health of Bogotá between 2013 and 2017 to 1154 vehicle repairers. Questionnaire items include sociodemographic data, conditions of employment, work and perceived health. Hazard identification and risk assessment were carried out by an APS team composed of engineers and technicians skilled in OSH. The data was analysed using Microsoft Excel and SPSS 25. A descriptive analysis of the findings is presented.

Results: The average age of the workers is 42.7 years. Only two of the workers had a medical examination at the time of work. 14.47 of characterized subjects are women. 49.2% of workers have incomes below 240 dollars. 75% of workers have exposure to noise, 93% uncomfortable postures, 84% repetitive movements, 64% exposure to chemical substances, 62% work more than 10 hours a day. The most frequent occupational accidents are cuts (39%), blows (25%). The system reported with the greatest disease is musculoskeletal, followed by respiratory.

Conclusions: Occupational health and safety assistance nested in primary health care allows dangerous working conditions to be recognized by broadening the scope of action to the informal sector. Automotive mechanics are a special work group with dangerous physical conditions derived particularly from awkward postures, the use of chemical substances and long working hours.

  Abstract 17: Post-Shift Exercises to Prevent Repetitive Strain Disorders - A Trend that can be Started on the Shop Floor Top

S. P. Jati

Hero MotoCorp Ltd, Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India


Introduction: How often have we seen workers do post shift exercises? It is a common phenomenon to see workers do pre shift workouts but never it happens that they do the exercises after the shift. Post the shift work the muscles are tensed no doubt but what is most important is they need to timely relax to heal themselves and grow stronger when they are again exerted. This in turn can go a long way in prevention repetitive strain disorders. Another important point is that it will also alleviate fatigue. Introducing such a schedule in the normal occupational setup can change the way RSIs preventive aspect is approached.

Methodology: 1. First of all, workplace assessment is done with respect to standing primarily. For example, in prolonged standing muscles like soleus, gastrocnemius and tibialis muscles are primarily affected. 2. Secondly assessment is done with respect to upper limb strain. For example, in a moving conveyor assembly segment the muscles primarily involved are deltoid, biceps and triceps. Then chalk out specific occupation based post work exercises (OBPWE) to relieve the worker of soreness and fatigue. The other main features which should be considered in making this OBPWE - a) It should be a short work out session and not inculcate more aggressive moves which might result in more fatigue as part of Negative feedback mechanism b) Should help in relaxing all the muscles which were involved in the job. c) The total joules of OBPWE should not be more than 10% of the actual work of that period.

Result: Such an initiative can go a long way in preventing the onset of RSIs and will be a major factor to prevent MSDs which will in turn increase productivity.

Conclusion: OBPWE should be promoted as part of the best shop floor practices

  Abstract 18: Hyperuricemia in Occupational Health: An Exploratory Regression Analysis of Periodic Medical Examination Data in Reliance Industries Limited, Vadodara Manufacturing Division Top

Dineshkumar Prajapati

Reliance Industries Limited, Vadodara Manufacturing Division, Gujarat, India


Introduction and Objectives: The periodic medical examination of 2,538 employees of Vadodara Manufacturing Division during 2018-2019 revealed that 20% employees had hyperuricemia. To explore whether the high number of hyperuricemia cases were due to gout or some occupational exposure, other parameters associated with hyperuricemia were estimated.

Materials and Methods: A binary logistic regression analysis of the periodic medical data was done to account for confounding effect of various factors on one another. The 34 parameters assessed in regression model included vitals; anthropometric measurements; laboratory parameters related to renal function, liver function, lipid profile, blood counts, blood group, and blood sugar levels; and factors like age, gender, cadre, and plant of work.

Results: The area under the curve (AUC) of the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) was 0.74, which showed good discrimination ability of the model. Six parameters were significantly associated with hyperuricemia - Haemoglobin (OR: 0.110; 95% CI: 0.019, 0.630; p: 0.013), HCT (OR: 1.946; 95%CI: 1.020, 3.710; p: 0.043), Creatinine (OR: 2.916; 95%CI: 1.618, 5.256; p: <0.0005), SGOT (OR: 1.018; 95%CI: 1.006, 1.031; p: 0.003), Total Bilirubin (OR: 2.249; 95%CI: 1.594, 3.175; p: <0.0005), and Fasting Blood Sugar (OR: 0.989; 95%CI: 0.984, 0.994; p: <0.0005).

Conclusion: Abnormal renal, hepatic, haematological indices and fasting blood sugar were significantly associated with hyperuricemia, while measurements of vitals and anthropometry, or parameters like age, gender were not significantly associated. The global change in blood indices supports the hypothesis of having an exposure as a cause of hyperuricemia instead of gout. Researchers have found that occupational exposures like cold, and chemicals like lead, arsenic, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin, and dibenzofurans cause hyperuricemia. This study emphasizes that other occupational exposures should be similarly researched. Instead of just treating abnormal lab values, removing such exposures can make workers healthier, which is the key to productivity and sustainability.

  Abstract 19: Why We Need to Mind Our Workers? Road to Safety and Productivity has a Pit Stop at Station of Mental Health Top

Saransh Raja, Shaila Thakur

National Thermal Power Corporation, India


Introduction: In today's world, accidents in factories has increased considerably. Root cause of most of the cases is Stress. Mental health takes a toll on productivity of workers. Need of the hour is to establish a unique correlation between Mental Stress and Safety of workers.

Materials and Methods: Workplace Health and Safety Survey developed by Institute of Work and Health, Toronto, Canada and Effort Reward Imbalance Questionnaire set by Johannes Siegrist were used to conduct Safety And Mental Health Survey respectively. Cronbach's Alpha Reliability Coefficient was used for Both the Surveys. Kayser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) for sampling adequacy and Bartlett's Sphericity for appropriateness of factor analysis for the sample size were used. Confirmatory Factor Analysis and Goodness of Fit Indices were used to test Model Fit.

Results: Work Related Stress affecting Safety has been quantified on parameters - Effort, Reward, Overcommitment and Safety. The Confirmatory Factor Analysis revealed that the workers scoring high on the ERI ratio have significantly raised odds of poor health. This is further validated by Goodness of Fit index measured greater than 0.92 making the model Good Fit. Cronbach's Alpha Coefficient found to be 0.67, 0.79, 0.78, 0.88 for Effort, Reward, Overcommitment and Safety Respectively. P Value was found to be significant for this model. Values of Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA), Comparative Fit Index, Relative Fit Index and Normal Fit Index indicated Model to be a Good Fit. (Excel Sheet of Data available)

Conclusion: Stress permeates the mind of individuals and affects the judgement and skill of workers. Lapse of Judgement is the root cause of Safety Incidents and Accidents. We tried to establish the fact that most neglected aspect of Occupational Health and Safety i.e. Mental Health and Stress has far serious implications on Safety of Workers than we have ever imagined.

  Abstract 20: Principles of Developing an Interactive Training Programme to Promote Workplace Well-Being Top

Ravi Reddy

Massey University, New Zealand


Introduction: Programmes designed to promote workplace health and safety practices have often lacked the desired impact it aimed to achieve. This is highlighted by the poor quality of training programmes aimed at individual and organisational behaviour. Policies and regulations have provisions for training but what constitutes an effective training is often missing. This in turn leads to the development of similar interventions packaged differently.

Materials and Methods: We developed an interactive training programme aimed at promoting hearing conservation in noisy workplaces. The components of this training were developed in collaboration with health and safety experts, personnel and workers. It consists of multiple active modalities of delivery with simple communication techniques. We will discuss these components and how they can be adapted for a number of workplace related issues.

Results: The programme was strongly endorsed by both the workers and their organisations. They particularly appreciated the short duration, industry relevance and concrete examples. There were also significant behavioural improvements post-intervention

Conclusion: Training programmes aimed at promoting health and safety practices need to be developed with multiple stakeholders and especially workers. It is important to identify the most effective forms of communication techniques. Time and resources need to be directed towards developing interactive training programmes instead of relying on passive modes of training such as posters and pamphlets.

  Abstract 21: Air Pollution and Diseases: A Practical Tool for Effective PubMed Search Top

Stefania Curti, Stefano Mattioli

University of Bologna, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Italy


Introduction and Objectives: To identify efficient PubMed search filters for the study of outdoor air pollution determinants of diseases.

Materials and Methods: We listed Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) and non-MeSH terms that seemed pertinent to outdoor air pollutants exposure as determinants of diseases. Proportions of potentially pertinent articles retrieved by each term were estimated. We then formulated two filters: one 'more specific', one 'more sensitive'. Their performances were compared with a gold standard of systematic reviews on associations between diseases and outdoor air pollution. We calculated, for both the filters, the number (of abstract) needed to read (NNR) to identify one potentially pertinent article, exploring three diseases potentially associated with outdoor air pollution.

Results: The combination of terms that yielded a threshold of potentially pertinent articles ≥40% permitted to formulate the 'more specific' filter. On the basis of the combination of all search terms under study we formulated the 'more sensitive' filter. In comparison with the gold standard, the 'more specific' filter had the highest specificity (67.4%; with a sensitivity of 82.5%) and the 'more sensitive' filter had the highest sensitivity (98.5%; with a specificity of 47.9%). For the 'more specific' filter and the 'more sensitive' one the NNR to find one potentially pertinent article was 1.9 and 3.3, respectively.

Conclusions: The proposed search filters help investigating environmental determinants of medical conditions.

  Abstract 22: Inter-Comparison of Low-Cost Sensors for Measuring the Particulate Matter of Welding Fume by Internet of Things (IoT) Top

Seunghon Ham, Won-Jun Choi, Wanhyung Lee, Seong-Kyu Kang

Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Gil Medical Centre, Gachon University College of Medicine, Republic of Korea


Background: The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of important keyword for 4th Industrial Revolution in occupational health. The IoT is expected to have a big impact on humans and workers, but it is still in the growth phase. IoT allows particulate matter (PM) to collect and exchange data through wireless systems such as indoor air, workplaces, vehicles, sensors and others including networks. IoT is a technology that can be used and extended in a variety of applications such as manufacturing and medical products. Korean government provides a concentration of particulate matter (PM2.5 / 10) every hour. However, it is difficult to apply a personal impression because it is installed in another location, such as the top of the building. This study focuses on the development and integration of particulate matter measurement systems for personal use by IoT technology.

Materials and Methods: Sampling was conducted at a welding workshop. It generates welding fume. Refence instrument was particle aerosol spectrometer (11-A, Grimm GmbH, Germany). Correlation between reference and developed instrument was calculated.

Results: Correlation coefficient (R2) values were 0.71 for PM2.5 and 0.63 for PM10, respectively at welding workshop.

Conclusion: It is necessary to improve the quality of the measurement system of the sensor technology, especially the sensor technology, and the combination of IoT technology and the measurement of harmful substances can suggest a new field of research for occupational health and hygiene.

Acknowledgement: This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (Ministry of Science, ICT) (No. NRF-2017R1C1B1002717).

  Abstract 23: Occupational Air Pollution Exposure of the People Working on or Near Roads Top

Arpan Patra, Harish C. Phuleria

Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India


Introduction and Objectives: Increasing population in urban centres has forced many people to work in unorganized sectors. They have to spend significant time on the roads (taxi/auto drivers, delivery services personnel etc.) or near roads (shop owners/keepers). The present study aims to quantify the air pollution exposure of them.

Materials and Methods: A survey was conducted in >550 people in Mumbai to obtain information on their job type/function, commute pattern and other demographic factors. To estimate their exposures, measurements were also performed in transportation modes. About 100 trips were completed on a fixed route in North-Central Mumbai during April-May, 2019 measuring fine particulate matter (PM2.5), Black Carbon (BC), CO, NO2 and VOCs.

Results: Out of the surveyed population, 48 were drivers, 23 delivery persons and 12 shop owners. The age of these drivers, delivery persons and shop owners were 27-52, 22-31 and 39-58 years, respectively and ~34% of them had their monthly family income, <12,000 INR. All the drivers and delivery persons are found to live in low socio-economic areas, only ~13% have studied beyond higher secondary education and ~22% spend more than 10 on/ near roads. Among the drivers, auto-rickshaw drivers spend 9-12 on roads. The pollutant levels were also found significantly higher (p < 0.05) near roads than the ambient. During measurements, PM2.5, CO and NO2 levels on and near roads were found 73 ± 12 μg/m3, 6 ± 2 ppm, 0.26 ± 0.03 ppm, whereas the ambient levels were 48 ± 18 μg/m3, 1.4 ±.2 ppm, 0.04 ± 0.01 ppm, respectively. Additionally, the levels of BC and VOCs on and near roads were 14 ± 2 μg/m3 and 442 ± 149 ppb, respectively. During their job, our results estimate an inhalation of 362, 238 and 184 μ of PM2.5 by a healthy auto-driver, car-driver and delivery personnel, respectively. Whereas, for a regular office goer, the values are 6-8 times lower due to lesser travel-time and less-polluted surroundings.

  Abstract 24: ‘I didn’t Think it Mattered’ – Needlestick Incidents in the Livestock Sectors in Victoria, Australia Top

Susan Brumby

National Centre for Farmer Health, Australia


Introduction: Every year, across Australia, farmers and agricultural workers experience preventable needlestick injuries with 80% of livestock farmers reporting a needlestick injury at some time. These injuries (while unintentional) have several factors in common. These factors include the use of vaccines, unpredictability of animals, poor animal restraint, dangerous vaccination technique, inappropriate first aid, inappropriate medical treatment, difficulty finding information on vaccines or on the material safety data sheets, and treatment delay resulting in various complications particularly where vaccines with mineral oil adjuvants have been used. (e.g. Johnes, Piligard, Vibriosis vaccines). Reasons farmers cite for not reporting needlestick or not changing behaviour include not remembering to do so, lack of employer support or instruction regarding safer technique, believing reporting wouldn't make any difference, and considering the injury insignificant. Medical assistance was often only sought when the inability to function due to pain, infection and requirement for surgery occurred.

Methods: During the 10-week period between September and early December 2018 the Emergency Department at a Regional Hospital saw five new cases of needlestick injury (due to animal husbandry activities) and several patients with unhealed needlestick injuries from the previous vaccinating season seek resolution.

Results: This paper reviews 3-4 cases that presented for treatment either as recent needlestick or as occurring during the last 6-12 months resulting in necrosis and granulation reaction requiring excision and multiple interventions to remove the highly irritant animal vaccine adjuvant.

Conclusion: Farmers and agricultural workers who incur a needlestick injury, risk impairment, infection and the high likelihood of repeated injury. This presentation will discuss educating farmers to prevent injury and appropriate first responses if a needlestick occurs. Additionally communicating with and upskilling local health services, GP clinics, and Accident and Emergency Nurses, in how to respond so limited delay and appropriate treatment is provided.

  Abstract 25: TUSMH Theory Proves Why Most of the Accidents Occurs at the End of Shifts and How Manpower Shortage is the Prime Underlying Cause of Accidents due to Fatigue Top

S. P. Jati

Hero MotoCorp Ltd, Haridwar, Uttar Pradesh, India


Introduction: Why do most of the accidents take place just before lunch time (or we can say the mid break) and during the end of the shift. A lot of hypotheses and theories have been put forward by a number of safety organizations. The obvious reasons given till date are decrease in focus, tiredness and hurry to meet the day's target. But have we ever thought of the prime reason behind all of this.

Methodology: Suppose the work to be done is X. Total manpower required to do the work efficiently in 8 hours - 50. Amount of work that can be safely done by each worker – X/50. Now what happens when there is shortage of manpower. The work to be done by a single worker is more than X/50 (which is otherwise called as work overload). So, when the worker is doing this quantity of overload, is the time when there is a maximum chance of an accident.

Result: It is very simple to calculate the overload. If instead of 50 workers only 45 are doing the same work then the overload quantity is: X/45 -X/50 = overload work.

Conclusion: This shortfall can be called as TUSMH (total unsafe manpower hours). That means 40 TUSMH is shared by the rest 45 people which they should not be sharing but have to do so because the production has to remain constant. 40 hours = 2400 minutes. 2400/ 45 = 53.33 minutes. So, each worker has 53.33 minutes TUSMH. So when will the accident take place? Can it be predicted? Can this be the reason why the last 53.33 minutes of the shift in the above workplace scenario see a major accident?

  Abstract 26: Learning by Game Playing – An Example Through Management of Chemical Exposure Top

Janine Bigaignon1, Laurence Mathieu1, Max Gerard2

1Scientific Action Group, Laboratoire Prevor, Moulin de Verville, Valmondois, France,2Ophthalmologist, Private Clinic, Cayenne, French Guiana


Introduction and Objectives: Considering chemical burn is relatively rare, frightening & potentially invalidating. Stimulate professionals and workers to react promptly in case of a real life accident scenario with simple means. Learning by doing and game playing to improve self-confidence and acquire new competences as actors. Objective was to evaluate our pedagogical tool.

Methods: Authors started by designing a movie describing a chemical burn and explaining good practices for management in hospital environment. After evaluation, it was decided to target all occupational and safety professionals: a workshop took place during congress introducing the gaming and fun notion of learning together. After assessing workshop, further step was taken to improve contents and interactivity by elaborating symposium workshop with the aim of including all occupational health and safety professionals as well as workers. Players commented different steps and choices regarding management. Time was given for evaluation followed by exchanges between all. A short video underlying right things to do was shown at the end.

Results: Over hundred professionals participated. They totally adhered to the project and interaction between participants was successful. Confronted to real life situations, panic was observed as the most important point, patient pain and screams were heard but not cared for. Burn was not treated immediately either and unfortunately washing within the first minute was not observed. Various exchanges took place following players' comments that were rich and constructive and lessons were learnt. Thus, a new film was created so the concept be accessible to all OSH professionals and workers.

Conclusion: Our pedagogic tool performed relatively well but needs to be improved constantly taking into consideration players remarks, teachers' observations and one's final objective. It can be used and adapted to various scenarios for workers and professionals.

  Abstract 27: Cervical Intervertebral Disc Herniation and Occupational Risk Factors – A Literature Review Top

Stefania Curti, Carlotta Zunarelli, Stefano Mattioli

University of Bologna, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Italy


Introduction and Objectives: Cervical intervertebral disc herniation is a spine disorder that can severely limit workers' ability leading to long term disability claims. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible association between herniated cervical disc and occupational risk factors.

Materials and Methods: A systematic search was carried out in MEDLINE (PubMed) until March 2019. The search strategy was based on a PubMed search filter conceived to detect the putative occupational origin of a disease. Two reviewers independently screened titles and abstracts for eligibility. The full text of all articles potentially qualifying for inclusion were assessed by the same pair of reviewers. Disagreements were resolved by a third reviewer.

Observational studies on cervical intervertebral disc herniation and exposure to occupational risk factors were included.

Results: The electronic search retrieved 410 potentially relevant citations. Of these, 34 were assessed in full-text and 19 met the inclusion criteria. Two longitudinal cohort studies, two retrospective cohort studies, two case-control studies, three cross-sectional studies, and ten non-comparative studies were identified. The cohort studies showed a higher risk for cervical intervertebral disc herniation among professional drivers, astronauts, physicians/nurses and American football players. The case-control studies reported a higher risk for frequent lifting of heavy objects on the job, frequent diving from a board and bowling players. Non-comparative studies were mainly about cases of herniated cervical disc among pilots, astronauts, surgeons and parachutists.

Conclusions: These preliminary findings suggest that some working activities seem to be at higher risk for cervical intervertebral disc herniation. However, high quality studies are needed to determine the association between herniated cervical disc and occupational risk factors. Future studies should take into consideration non-occupational risk factors, including sporting and leisure activities.

  Abstract 28: Evaluation of the National Profile Criteria for Health and Safety in Emerging Countries Top

Rim el Kholti1, Pierre Durand1, Driss Lahlou2, Abdeljalil el Kholti2

1School of Industrial Relations, University of Montreal, Canada,2Occupational Health Unit, Medicine and Pharmacy Faculty, Hassan II University of Casablanca, Morocco


Introduction: In 2006, the ILO adopted the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention (No. 187). One of the goals was to enlist the members to take active steps to gradually reach the healthy, safe and under-work environment. Establishing a national OSH profile would facilitate the implementation of information on OHS governance partners and reveal it through both the system and its development needs. The objective of this study is that of ILO criteria in a sample of emerging countries, located in Africa.

Methods: In the light of the extensive literature review and reference guides of international organizations, a qualitative assessment of each country was conducted. Subsequently, a cross analysis of the SWOT / PESTEL instrument led.

Results: This analysis has highlighted aspects that deserve special attention at the political, economic, socio-cultural, technological, ecological and legal levels.

Conclusion: National guide to information on safety and security at work, the work policy, human resources, actors, statistics and indicators of OHS, general demographic data, problems encountered. and the challenges, as well as future development needs in the specific country.

  Abstract 29: Opportunities, Capabilities, and Motivation for the Implementation of Workers' Health Surveillance by Occupational Physicians: A Survey Study Top

Felicia Los, Angela De Boer, Henk Van Der Molen, Carel Hulshof

Amsterdam UMC, location Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, The Netherlands


Introduction and Objectives: Workers' health surveillance (WHS) is a legal obligation for employers in the Netherlands. It is an important preventive activity in occupational health care aimed at preventing work-related diseases, and promotion of workers' health and workability. WHS encompasses periodic surveillance, monitoring and implementing interventions to prevent work related diseases. WSH should be implemented by the occupational physician (OP). This study aimed to investigate the actual implementation, OP's needs, knowledge, skills and motivation of, and opportunities for the implementation of WHS.

Methods: As an initial study of a four year cohort, an online survey was conducted among OPs. Questions were asked to investigate the actual implementation of WHS, OP's knowledge, skills, motivation of, and opportunities for the implementation of WHS. Descriptive statistics were conducted to describe the results of the survey.

Results: 128 OPs (response rate 19%) completed the survey. The majority has implemented WHS at least once in the past five years. However, almost half of them did not discuss the results of the surveillance with workers, or advised on interventions to prevent work-related diseases. The majority of OPs was motivated to implement WHS, while they also reported they did not have enough opportunities at employers to implement WHS. About half of the OPs did not have access to biomedical equipment and protocols to implement WHS. Furthermore, the majority of OPs had a need for development of their knowledge and skills to implement WHS.

Conclusion: The majority of OPs were motivated to implement WHS. However, development of knowledge and skills on WHS, and support of employers is needed to increase implementation of WHS, and the prevention of work-related diseases.

  Abstract 30: Screening for Common Cancers among High Risk Work Force (Unorganised Sector) Top

Dolorosa Fernandes, Vasundhara Kulkarni, Gauravi Mishra, Sharmila Pimple, Parishi Majmudar

Department of Preventive Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, India


Introduction: The unorganised sector contributes to a vast majority of the Indian economy. The workers in the unorganised sector have limited access to health care coverage. The data for this paper is from an outreach service programme conducted by the Department of Preventive Oncology in collaboration with local home-owners association. Every opportunity, for example, religious celebrations like Ganapati celebrations in Mumbai, are utilized by the department to create awareness and screen people for common cancers.

Objectives: To provide screening for and awareness on common cancers to housemaids and security workers of a large housing society in Mumbai.

Results: A total of 103 individuals were screened during Ganesh celebrations organized by the housing society at the venue. All 86 women enrolled were working as housemaids and all 17 men enrolled were working as security guards. Majority (53.5%) of the participants belonged to the below 40 years group. Seven security guards (41.2%) reported tobacco use and 22 (26.2%) housemaids reported tobacco use. Thus, overall 28.7% of the participants were tobacco users, mainly smokeless form. Amongst the tobacco users, 9 (31%) of tobacco users were screened positive for oral pre-cancers. They were referred to the Department of Preventive Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital for further evaluation. Five (55%) complied to referral. Along with the screening camp for cancer, health awareness sessions on hazards of tobacco use and common cancers were provided throughout the day at the camp venue. The knowledge about tobacco hazards and cancers was poor among the participants.

Conclusion: This paper highlights high prevalence of tobacco use among the unorganised sectors like security guards and housemaids resulting in high prevalence of oral precancers. We recommend seeking opportunity of religious/ political/ social events for organising cancer awareness and common cancer screening.

  Abstract 31: Morbidities among Workers of a Chemical Processing Industry in Goa Top

Vedpal S. Tari1, Naik Mahika2, Kalyani S2, Cacodkar Jagadish2

1Goa Shipyard Limited, Goa, India,2Goa Medical College, Goa, India


Introduction and Objectives: The current retrospective record based cross sectional study was undertaken to assess selected morbidities amongst 279 workers in a chemical fertilizer industry in Goa.

Materials and Methods: The study was conducted over a period of two months from November to December 2018. The data of the workers was obtained from OHS centre catering to a fertilizer industry in North-Goa which conducted periodic medical check-ups of the workers. The data included socio-demographic details and details regarding selected morbidities among workers of the fertilizer industry. The data was analysed using EpiData and SPSS software version 22.0.

Results: Among the workers, as high as 104 (37.3%) were overweight and 38 (13.6%) were obese with BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2. It was reported that 22 (7.9%) workers were hypertensive with BP ≥ 140/90 mm hg, 35 (12.5%) were diabetic with HbA1c ≥ 6.5%, 46 (26.5%) had abnormal far vision and 24 (8.6%) had near vision abnormalities. Spirometry reports showed 17 (6.1%) workers suffered from mild restrictive lung disease. Assessment of audiometry reports revealed that 2 (0.8%) workers had mild hearing loss, 4 (1.6%) had moderate hearing loss and 2 (0.8%) had severe hearing loss.

Conclusion: Workers in a fertilizer industry suffer from several health problems, notably, lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension and obesity. Apart from this, they also suffer from hearing impairment, visual impairment and lung conditions impairing pulmonary functions. Periodic medical examinations are needed for timely detection and appropriate treatment of these health conditions among the workers. To prove causal association between occupation and morbidities, analytical studies may be conducted.

  Abstract 32: Morbidity among Electronic Equipment Manufacturing Workers in Goa. Top

Vishwaraj Kashinath Mhalshekar1, Rudra Kunkolienkar2, Saideep Naik2, Eli Jonathan Rodrigues2, Pradeep Chauhan2, Pradnesh Chodankar2, Jagdish A Cacodkar2

1Goa Shipyard Limited, Goa, India,2Goa Medical College, Goa, India


Introduction and Objectives: This Cross-Sectional Study was conducted among workers in an electronic equipment manufacturing industry in Goa with the main objective to identify selected morbidity among these workers.

Materials and Methods: The study was conducted over a period of one month in March 2019. The Data of workers was obtained from Occupational Health Service centre catering to an electronic equipment manufacturing industry which conducted periodic medical check-up of the workers. The data was obtained using pre designed semi structured questionnaire which included Socio demographic details and details regarding selected morbidity among workers. The Data analysis was done using EpiData and SPSS software version 22.0.

Results: Among the workers, it was observed that 10.1% had obesity with a BMI > 30, 24.8% had hypertension (>140/90) and 31.2% had diabetes mellitus with HbA1c > 6.5. In addition, 24.8% had far vision defect and 39.4% had near vision defect. 42.2% had abnormal lung function tests, 0.9% had hearing disability and 4.6% had abnormal ECG findings. Among Male workers 0.9% had elevated PSA levels. Whereas all  Pap smear More Details reports were normal among Female workers.

Conclusion: Electronic equipment manufacturing workers suffer from several health conditions particularly lifestyle diseases like Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension and Obesity. Apart from this, they also suffer from visual impairment and pneumoconiosis impairing pulmonary functions. ECG abnormalities were seen in some workers. Hence Periodic Medical examination and intervention is needed for timely detection and appropriate treatment of these health conditions among the workers. Analytical Studies may be conducted to prove causal associations between the occupation and chronic diseases that have been identified.

  Abstract 33: Noise Induced Hearing Impairment, its Severity and Impact on Hearing Aid Requirement among Petroleum Industry Workers Top

Sudipta Saha

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Vadodara, India


Introduction and Objectives: Petroleum and Natural Gas Industry is a vital marker of a country's economic progress. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) ensures energy security of our nation and its employees are often exposed to high workplace noise. The objectives of the study were to identify hearing impairment among employees of Western Onshore (WON) Basin, ONGC Vadodara with its severity. Severity of hearing impairment and its relationship with age, type of job and workplace noise exposure. Relationship between noise induced hearing impairment and hearing aid requirement.

Materials and Methods: This retrospective study involved Analysis of Periodical Medical Examination data of 433 employees for 2018-19 along with occupational history. Evaluation of sensorineural hearing impairment (SNHI) and hearing aid cases. Data analysis of the employees availing hearing aid facilities at WON for 2018-19.

Results: The study revealed that 37% were suffering from hearing impairment. 57% of them had bilateral SNHI, 19% unilateral SNHI, 7% conductive, 9% mixed and 8% acoustic notches. Among SNHI, 44% had mild, 39% moderate while 17% had severe to profound SNHI. 68% of all cases had noise exposure, majority in SNHI cases. Age and job analysis showed 69% cases were 56 years or beyond, 28% between 46 -55 years, 3% less than 45 years while 75% were field workers. Hearing aid reimbursement was mainly for superannuated employees and nearly half were for employee's dependents.

Conclusion: Occupational noise exposure had a significant effect on hearing threshold along with age, field job and duration of exposure but may not be solely responsible for hearing aid requirement. Still an effective hearing conservation programme is to be practiced that should include noise exposure survey, engineering and administrative noise control, education and motivation, hearing protection, audiometric evaluation, record keeping and regular follow up.

  Abstract 34: Association between Occupation and Morbidities in the Indian Working Men: Findings from a Nationally Representative Survey Top

Absar Ahmed

Career Institute of Medical Sciences and Hospital, Lucknow, India


Objectives: Aims of the study is to determine the relationship between occupation and morbidities among Indian working men.

Methods: Analysis is based on 85689 working men aged 15–54 years who participated in India's fourth National Family Health Survey, 2015–2016, and reported their current occupation. Occupation of the respondents categorized into three groups; firstly 'Agriculture, forestry, and fishery', the second is 'Industrial activity workers' and the third one is 'Other' category. Chi-square and logistic regression used for statistical analysis.

Results: The prevalence of asthma and heart disease was higher among the first occupational group (1.8% and 1.4%) whereas the prevalence of diabetes, thyroid, and hypertension was higher among the third occupational group (3.3%, 0.6%, and 9.7%). Logistic regression shows the third occupational group has higher odds of Asthma (OR = 1.15, p < 0.05), Thyroid (OR = 1.33, p < 0.05), Hypertension (OR = 1.10, p < 0.01) and Diabetes (OR = 1.57, p < 0.01) compare to the first group. Risk of Diabetes (OR = 1.27, p < 0.01) among the second occupational group was also higher compared to the first occupational group. Logistic regression used by adjusting for age, education, household wealth index, currently use the substance, rural/ urban residence, religion, and caste.

Conclusions: This large population-based, nationally representative cross-sectional study showing a high prevalence of Asthma, Diabetes, and Hypertension among the third occupational group in men.

  Abstract 35: Effect of Ergonomic Intervention on Health and Safety of Informal Workers at India Top

Tirthankar Ghosh1, Somnath Gangopadhyay2, Banibrata Das3

1Physiology and Ergonomics Laboratory, Department of Osteopathy, Sri Sri University, Cuttack, Odisha, India,2Occupational Ergonomics Laboratory, Department of Physiology, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, West Bengal, India,3Department of Physiology, South Calcutta Girls' College, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, West Bengal, India


Introduction and Objectives: Large portion of the workforce in India is found to be employed in the Informal sector. In this study an attempt was made to improve the work process of different Informal sectors for the improvement of health and safety.

Materials and Methods: In the present study, 100 male workers were randomly selected from three Informal sectors of sand core worker, goldsmiths and carpenter from West Bengal, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Odisha, India. A detailed questionnaire study on discomfort feeling was done by the modified Nordic questionnaire. The existing workstations were assessed by the measurement of work areas. Analysis of body posture was done to evaluate the work stress during their job. A new ergonomic intervention was introduced to the Informal sectors with their active suggestions. Subjects were interviewed at the end to ascertain intervention acceptance.

Results: The study revealed that all these three Informal sectors jobs are performed in awkward postures, with the potential risks of musculoskeletal disorders primarily affecting the low-back region. The existing processes of these informal sectors involved some unnecessary steps, awkward postures which may produce various occupational hazards. To overcome such problem various ergonomic intervention were introduced to them, which potentially increase productivity, health and safety of these informal workers.

Conclusion: The modified process at sand core process enhanced productivity in both types of core making processes. Blowing Pipe activity of the goldsmiths increases the fatigue of facial muscles. An ergonomic intervention (hand air pipe) eliminates the hazards of manual Blowing Pipe activities of the goldsmiths. As indicated by RULA action levels, most of the postures adopted by carpenters with existing handle are awkward and non-liner in nature. Ergonomically modified handles of hand saw reduce the fatigue of hand muscles and improve the carpenters health during work.

  Abstract 36: Effect of Working Hours on Workers' Health and Overwork Prevention in Korea Top

Hyoung Ryoul Kim

Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea


To define overwork, the length of working hours, the density of labour, and when to work (shift work) must all be considered. In Korea, the Labour Standards Act regulates the length of working hours. There is an upper limit not to exceed 52 hours per week. However, there are no standards reflecting shift system and labour intensity. It does not reflect the qualitative factors of overwork, including emotional labour, time constraints, increased responsibilities, competitive organizational culture, experiences of work-related accident, and workplace violence. To date, several studies have identified the relationship between quantitative and qualitative factors of overwork and health including mental health and cardiovascular disease. In Korea, national health data such as KNHANES (the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) and KWCS (Korean Working Conditions Survey), and data from Occupational Cardiovascular Disease Surveillance System has been used for these researches. Recently, research on the relationship between overwork and mental health has been increasing. The effect of length of working hours, night work, weekend work, job stress, job insecurity, emotional labour and workplace violence on health problems has been reported. The standard of overwork for workers' compensation is set and used as an example for compensation in Korea. Preventive measures should be taken for the industries and workplaces where overwork or overwork related diseases has occurred. For workplaces with overwork-related diseases, it is necessary to be able to implement specific overwork patterns, qualitative factors for overwork, the size of workers exposed to overwork and preventive measures against overwork-related diseases. By using big data, we need to identify industries with a high rate of workers doing long working hours and make plans to reduce working hours.

  Abstract 37: Prevalence and Factors Associated with Sickness Absenteeism among Pharma Industrial Workers of Hyderabad Top

Sudha Bala, Rajiv B, Harshal Pandve

ESIC Medical College, Hyderabad, India


Introduction and Objective: Sickness absenteeism is a potential epidemiological issue affecting the industrial sector leading to loss of productivity and also increases the cost of health care. There are numerous factors affecting the prevalence of sickness absenteeism which can be broadly categorised as individual factors, Occupational and organizational factors. These factors provide a major tool to enhance occupational health services in order to set up preventive strategies. The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of sickness absenteeism and their associated factors among industrial workers of pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Hyderabad.

Materials and Methods: A cross sectional study was taken up at Pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Hyderabad among 160 workers who are willing to participate and working under various sections of age group 18 to 58 years using simple random sampling technique. Data was collected by trained team using pre designed pretested questionnaire schedule including individual, occupational and organizational factors influencing their sickness absenteeism in the past six months. Absenteeism to be confirmed from leave records available at industry. General health conditions were accessed through camp-based approach. Data entered in Microsoft Excel software and analysed using frequency, mean scores and multinomial logistic regression analysis to predict the variables associated with the outcome – sickness absenteeism.

Results: The prevalence of sickness absenteeism was found among 18.75%. of the workers. Common causes were due to sickness among 25 (84%) and social responsibilities among 5 (16%). Common diseases were musculoskeletal disorders 8 (26%), pregnancy related complications 3 (10%), alcoholic liver disease 2 (6%) and accidents 2 (6%). On multinomial logistic regression analysis- poor superior relationships, poor co- workers relationship and high mental stress were found to be significant.

Conclusions: Sickness absenteeism was found to be higher among the workers of pharmaceutical company. This can be reduced by improvement of relationships with superiors and co-workers and also by reducing mental stress among the workers.

  Abstract 38: A New Course on BOHS in Agriculture Top

Maarten Verberk1, Frank van Dijk1, Gert van der Laan2, Mieke Lumens3, Ad de Rooij4

1Learning and Developing Occupational Health (LDOH), The Netherlands,2Learning and Developing Occupational Health (LDOH), University of Milano, The Netherlands,3Learning and Developing Occupational Health (LDOH), Institute Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht, The Netherlands,4Learning and Developing Occupational Health (LDOH), Safety and Health in the Dutch Agricultural Sector, Woerden, The Netherlands


Introduction: The many workers in agriculture worldwide are exposed to a multitude of risk factors that can affect their health: biological agents, chemicals, noise, heavy physical workload often in unfavourable posture, accidents, heat, mental stress, etc. The large majority of these workers is devoid of some form of occupational health service, and consequently the work-relatedness of a disease often is not recognized.

Methods: Based on personal experience and study of the literature, a concise (3-4 day) course on Basic Occupational Health Services (BOHS) in Agriculture has been developed by foundation Learning and Developing Occupational Health (LDOH). Intended course participants are (1) primary or community health care workers, e.g. physicians, nurses and others, active in rural areas, (2) recently graduated physicians and nurses going to work in a rural area.

Results: The course materials comprise a brief textbook, the – interactive lessons, presentations, exercises, and many supportive materials, all freely available and soon online. Some themes of the course are: occupational diseases and injuries including prevention, counselling of workers with disabilities, evaluation and improvement of the workplace.

Discussion: The authors would like to contact any team or colleague who may consider to organize such a course. This will implicate some adaptation of the course materials to the specific region and agricultural practice, and evaluation of the effect on the participants' daily work practice. The authors look forward to collaborate on such activities.

Conclusion: This project aims at (1) increase of the expertise in occupational health care of practitioners in primary or community health care, (2) obtaining experience on the feasibility and efficacy of the course, and (3), most important, improvement of the health of the many workers in agriculture.

  Abstract 39: Developing and Pilot Testing of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Occupational Epidemiology Top

Lutgart Braeckman1, Leon D'hulster1, Joy van de Cauter1, Maurits de Ridder1, Astrid Vermeersch2, Martin Valcke2, Mathieu Verbrugghe3

1Ghent University - Department of Public Health,2Ghent University - Department of Educational Sciences,3Ghent University - Department of Public Health; Mensura Occupational Health Services, Belgium


Introduction and Objectives: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are a novel mode of online learning. They offer a flexible and cost-effective method of providing education to large numbers of students around the world. MOOCs on epidemiology already exist, but so far none have applied this topic in the field of occupational health. The aim was to develop and pilot test a mini MOOC for postgraduate students in occupational medicine in order to teach the basics and practical skills of occupational epidemiology required to set up a scientific project.

Methods: The MOOC was supported and funded by Ghent University, Belgium. Using instructional design principles, a team from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care developed the open online course.

Results: After defining the learning objectives and specific structure of the MOOC, four modules have been designed and delivered in a pilot version in the course of 2018. We used the platform Articulate 360 Rise to create PowerPoint slide presentations with voice over, animation clips, texts, quizzes and self-assessment questions. A group of 18 postgraduate students did a pilot test and gave an appreciation of the different aspects of the MOOC.

Conclusions: This was the first MOOC created by our team and although it was rewarding and students were satisfied, it entailed a considerable amount of time and work. From our experience, we subscribe many of the rules and practical tips provided in educational literature to facilitate the development, evaluation and implementation of MOOCs. Of prime importance is the involvement of video professionals and educators. Given the scarcity of MOOCs in the field of occupational health, a multi-institutional approach and international collaboration would be beneficial to improve the present MOOC and develop new ones.

  Abstract 40: Health Impact of Firefighters Exposed to Chemicals Top

Yeon-Soon Ahn, Yong-Su, Yoon, Jeong-Ha, Lee, Soon-Jeong, Koh, Hae-Kweon, Nam

Yonsei Wonju College of Medicine, South Korea


In April 2018, a waste material recycling company in Incheon, Korea, generated static electricity during the acetone filling operation, causing a big fire and fully extinguishing in about eight hours. The accident was classified as a chemical accident and a health impact investigation was decided at the request of Incheon Metropolitan City, but the investigation was conducted at the end of September more than five months after the accident.

The firefighters who participated in the incident response were included in the Health Impact Survey. Questionnaires and doctor interviews were conducted for firefighters, and hospital care was requested if necessary. There were 438 fire-fighting officials who responded to chemical accident, of which 93 (21.2%) participated in the health impact survey. When asked about the difference from other fire accidents, 52.9% (47 people) said it was different from other fires, and most of them had severe smells and physical symptoms (irritation of respiratory system, skin, eyes, etc.). The most common symptom at the time of accident was respiratory irritation (70.5%), followed by nose (59.1%) and eye (45.5%). One patient with persistent respiratory symptoms could be judged to be aggravated allergy by exposure to chemicals during the incident response. Because this health impact survey was conducted five months after the accident, making it difficult to determine the relationship between accidental exposure and clinical medical findings. About 30% of symptoms persisted and there were also mental health problems, suggesting that the importance of evaluating the health impacts after a chemical accident.

This work was supported by Korea Environmental Industry & Technology Institute (KEITI) through “The Chemical Accident Prevention Technology Development Project” funded by Korea Ministry of Environment (MOE) (2017001970001).

  Abstract 41: Chemical Accident and Health Impact Investigation System in Korea Top

Yeon-Soon Ahn

Yonsei Wonju College of Medicine, South Korea


From 2003 to 2017, a total of 602 chemical accidents occurred in Korea. The annual average of 15 cases is very low when considering the scale of Korea's chemical industry. However, an annual average of 93.8 cases occurred in the last 5 years (2013-2017) since 2012. This means that an unreported chemical accident has been reported due to the surveillance reinforcement of chemical accidents after the Gumi Foshan accident in 2012. That is, many chemical accidents were not reported before 2012. The chemical accident investigation is carried out under Article 45 of the Chemical Substance Control Act, and it mainly carries out the environmental impact investigation and the health impact investigation. Korea conducts a health impact investigation on a subject when a certain condition is established by the Chemical Substances Control Act after chemical accident. From 2003 to 2017, a total of 602 chemical accidents occurred, of which only four cases health impact investigation were conducted because of strict enforcement conditions. The Chemical Accident Health Impact Survey shall be conducted when there is an inpatient or death among workers at the workplace or exposed persons other than those in the chemical accident workplace. To date, health impact investigation for three cases of leak accident and one fire accident have been conducted, and about 2,000 people have been investigated for their respiratory and mental health. In order to expedite the health impact investigation after a chemical accident, the Korean government revised the relevant laws and prepared the investigation toolkit similar to the one developed by the ACE team of ATSDR in the United States.

This work was supported by Korea Environmental Industry & Technology Institute (KEITI) through “The Chemical Accident Prevention Technology Development Project” funded by Korea Ministry of Environment (MOE) (2017001970001).

  Abstract 42: Management of Eye Exposure to Chemicals and Latex Plant at Vadodara in Gujarat in India Top

Manisha Kadam1, Laurence Mathieu2, Joël Blomet2, Janine Bigaignon2, Alan H. Hall3

1Kadam Eye Hospital,2Prevor Laboratory,3Toxicology Consulting and Medical Translating Services


In the province of Gujarat in India, there are many chemical industries in cities such as Dahej, Ankleshwar, Bharuch, Surat, within 150 km around Kadam Eye Hospital in Vadodara. About 10 to 20 chemical eye burns are treated each month at the hospital. The exposures can also be due to domestic reasons. Until 2017, .decontamination was performed with normal saline solution. But severe lesions or even blindness were observed. In April 2017, an aqueous hypertonic and amphoteric decontaminant, Diphoterine® solution was introduced at the Kadam Eye Hospital based on benefit obtained in previous clinical study in Martinica, France. Here are presented some case reports rinsed with normal saline solution and others rinsed with Diphoterine® solution. Compared to saline solution, Diphoterine® solution was able to prevent severity of lesions and blindness due to corrosives. Benefit of the rinsing with the hypertonic amphoteric agent was also observed for exposure to a latex plant such as Calatropis gigantis with immediate irritation and pain relief.

  Abstract 43: Effects of the Use of Diphoterine® Solution on Chemical Burns in the Tarapur Industrial Complex, India Top

Parag Kulkarni1, Steven Jeffery2

1Ashirwad Clinic Boisar Tarapur,2The Queen Elizabeth Hospital


Aim: Chemical ocular burns are relatively frequent due to corrosive agents use within Tarapur industries. Diphoterine® solution, a hypertonic amphoteric first-aid solution has already been adopted by some of the companies. Diphoterine® solution efficacy has already been evaluated for of chemical skin exposures management. We decided to compare chemical ocular injury cases treated with Diphoterine® solution compared to those rinsed with water.

Methods: A prospective comparative study of grade I chemical eye injuries attending Ashirwad Clinic Boisar during two years. Mechanism of injury, delay, first aid treatment performed, pain improvement, site of injury and visual acuity evolution after the rinsing, time off work and time to healing were recorded.

Results: There were 72 chemical ocular burns. 31 were treated with water as the only first aid method. 41 cases had only Diphoterine® solution applied. Average delay in applying Diphoterine® solution was 17:42 ± 4:14 minutes (time to reach the clinic) versus 8:13 ± 4:34 minutes when using water on site. Water group took an average of 2.79 days to heal, compared to 1.47 days in Diphoterine® group. Water group required an average of 3.52 days off work compared to 2 in Diphoterine® group. Water group only saw improvement of the visual acuity (Snellen's chart) in 4% of the cases while 93% in Diphoterine® group. Diphoterine® group also experienced a significant improvement in pain (before rinsing 6.32 – after rinsing 2.52) versus before rinsing 5.83 – after rinsing 3.57 with water.

Conclusions: The use of Diphoterine® solution in treating chemical burns results in less pain, less time off work and significant higher chance to get a normal visual acuity compared to water rinsing.

  Abstract 44: Occupational Injuries among Building Construction Workers in Bhubaneswar City, Odisha Top

Rahul Pal

All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Raipur, India


Introduction and Objectives: In India, construction industry plays a vital role in the development of infrastructures. It is one of the most hazardous industry. Workers are belonging to organized/formal and unorganized/informal sectors. About 340 million workforce (roughly 92% of total workers) is engaged in unorganized sector of which around half of them are alone from the construction industry. Our objectives are to assess the magnitude of work related injuries among the construction workers &amp; to find out the factors responsible for such injuries.

Materials and Methods: The study uses cross-sectional research methods to collect 310 samples by Multi stage stratified random sampling. It uses scales like the socio-demographic questionnaire, substance abuse; history of current illness and Occupational injuries. The data were analysed using the IBM Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) Statistics software, revealing that Construction workers are facing the consequences of occupational injuries.

Results: The study revealed that the overall prevalence of injury was 43.28% in the previous one year period. Majority of the construction workers were less experience in the construction work. Factors responsible for injuries are fall of object followed by striking and Majority of the workers reported their injuries to have occurred in summer season. And most of the construction workers are not using PPE.

Conclusion: The study revealed that occupational injuries were common among building construction workers. Occupational injuries among building construction workers can be protected at work place if protective measures and program are applied sufficiently and consistently.

  Abstract 45: How and Why Local Small-Scale OHS Interventions in Agriculture and Mining Suddenly can Become Mainstream! Top

Erik Jørs

University of Southern Denmark and Clinic of Occupational Medicine, Odense University Hospital, Denmark


Introduction: Working with OHS we conduct projects that might show us the relation between workplace exposure and disease, and sometimes we also evaluate preventive methods. But having found a suitable preventive method is not the same as mainstreaming it. In this presentation I will discuss some experiences from NGO projects on how and why some effective preventive measures can become mainstream by purpose or by chance.

Method: With the Danish NGO Dialogos and the Danish Society of Occupational Medicine we have during the past 20 years conducted intervention projects on prevention of pesticide poisoning in agriculture and prevention of mercury poisoning and pollution from goldmining. The projects have taken place in Bolivia, Uganda, Nepal and the Philippines run by local colleagues on a day to day level with input from Danish experts through mail, skype and on-site visits. The projects runs typically over a 10 year period, where the first part is used for settling, developing info materials and running courses for target groups and the second part is focused on spreading the experiences from successful local interventions to a national level.

Result: At a local level our experience is that new ideas, like mercury free gold mining and integrated pest management, can spread if the production process is of value for producers and consumers. 'Of value' means being not more time consuming to produce, being more or at least not less profitable for producers, being cultural acceptable, being not too complicated to learn and being not too costly to get started among others. It is our experience that a scientific documentation of the validity of a new method is a very strong tool if you want politicians to intervene and make your experiences mainstream at a national level. If these prerequisites are in place then there is a basis for mainstreaming, where the methods are adopted by producers, production cooperatives, consumers, the education system, Ministries, NGO's, and others. Often this happens when a 'window of opportunity' suddenly opens, which might be by coincidence and/or due to lobbying for years.

Conclusion: To be able to mainstream prevention of occupational diseases, you must show the validity of a new method and spread it by lobbying users, consumers, politicians and others rather than only publishing a nice study from limited area of intervention.

  Abstract 46: Review of a Respiratory Health Assessment Program for Australian Coal Mine Workers Top

Malcolm R. Sim

Monash University, Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health, Melbourne, Australia


Introduction and Objectives: Coal mining is a very large industry in Australia. In Queensland, a state of Australia, coal mine workers are required to have respiratory health assessments every five years. No cases of coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) had been identified for at least three decades until late 2015 when several cases were diagnosed outside the health assessment program. The objective of the review was to evaluate the respiratory health assessment program and recommend improvements.

Materials and Methods: The review team evaluated the training of doctors, the respiratory health assessment form, methods used to store health data, a sample of health assessment forms to assess completeness and quality, a sample of spirograms, a sample of chest x-rays and reports, quality assurance processes and measures of health surveillance.

Results: There was a high level of complacency and the focus had moved away from early detection of coal mine dust lung diseases to fitness-for-work assessments. There were too many doctors undertaking the health assessments and their training was inadequate. The respiratory health form was not adequately designed and the sample of completed forms demonstrated poor quality and gaps in completion. The chest x-rays were not being read by radiologists specially trained in the early detection of CWP and the standardised ILO form was not being used to report findings. The spirometry was not being undertaken by accredited laboratories and training and quality control were poor, resulting in 41% of the sample not being interpretable. There were no clinical guidelines for referring and managing coal mine workers where abnormalities were found.

Conclusions: This review found several systemic deficiencies in the design and conduct of the respiratory health program and 18 recommendations for improvement were made. These findings have important implications for health monitoring in any industry where workers are exposed to hazardous substances.

  Abstract 47: Mining, OSH (Occupational Safety and Health) and Sustainability Triple Bottom Line (3 P's - People, Planet, and Profit), Case of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Top

Janvier Gasana

Environmental and Occupational Health, Faculty of Public Health, Kuwait University, Hawalli, Kuwait


Background and Objectives: Five years ago, a team of consultants aimed at investigating the impact of mining on health, safety, and environment in DRC. This allowed to see that the country has a huge mining potential, the exploitation of which promises great hopes for economic development. However, the different activities carried out during several years of operation did not align with the triple bottom line of the three Ps which are the cornerstone of improvement of OSH and a sustainable environment. Sustainability can be understood through a “Triple Bottom Line” framework, which has three parts: economic, social and environmental – also called the three Ps or the “three pillars of sustainability” (John Elkington, 1994).

Methods: A field study was conducted in the south-eastern DRC Provinces through the collection of samples of water and soil, acquisition of health data, and face-to-face interviews with representatives of mining companies, miners and surrounding populations (including displaced indigenous people).

Results: Samples of water and soil were collected and analysed along with administration of surveys on OSH and environmental issues. The water and soil contaminants were above the international standards. They included toxic metals (such as Chromium and Mercury) and metalloids (such as Arsenic), and other contaminants. Mining activities led to the displacement of the local population which resulted into impoverishment of families and residents and significant damage to the environment.

Conclusion: Current international water and soil standards were exceeded along with air standards also. The mining activities have had negative environmental and social impacts. Exploitation of mineral deposits has had adverse effects on the aspects of the biophysical, socio-economic and health conditions of the miners and surrounding populations including indigenous populations. Sustainability is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and environment.


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